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View Full Version : External Hard Drives -- Most reliable (least likely to fail) brand?



Mike Anderson
2007-01-05, 15:30
I'm looking at external hard drives, 300-500 GB in size. Does anyone have an opinion on what brands are least likely to fail?

thanks

Deaf Cat
2007-01-05, 15:54
I've still got a Lacie external firewire drive that I'm stuck with, 1 replacement, 2 repairs, 3 psus, all in two years, do I trust it now.... HA!

Oh and rather unresponsive customer services, who still refuse to give a refund! (I was even told when units have been repaired five times still no refunds are given)

Just what you want for a nice safe back up device :)

So I know a make that I would stear well clear of.

Hercules
2007-01-05, 16:03
I've had a Maxtor one (albeit 160GB) for a few years.

Never had any problems with it, and they seem to have a good reputation.

(Maxtor have been taken over by Seagate I think)

mswlogo
2007-01-05, 22:49
The WD Passport I had bad luck with, but it just may have been an unlucky drive failure.

But the My Book one, so far I really like. It powers down when USB power is removed. Very quiet and cool when running. The premium models just add more and faster connections. All sizes exist.

http://westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=5

I have it hooked to an XP laptop slimserver (which sleeps). Complete silence and low power when asleep. The SqueezeBox issues wake-on-lan and it's up and running in about 5 seconds.

drewe181
2007-01-05, 23:23
i have a 160gig Seagate external that i store both flac and mp3 for use on my squeezbox. i'm yet to have a problem with it and it also looks pretty stylish. i'm sure i've seen these drives in 250gig models too. they don't support firewire but usb 2 is compatible.

Skunk
2007-01-05, 23:24
Don't put all your eggs in one hard drive and you can just get the cheapest, if you don't care about silence. So one of whatever's on sale at newegg applied externally and internally.

edit: sorry my post makes no sense. i just reread "external hard drive" and thought you meant most reliable in general.

tyler_durden
2007-01-05, 23:41
I've still got a Lacie external firewire drive that I'm stuck with, 1 replacement, 2 repairs, 3 psus, all in two years, do I trust it now.... HA!:)

Yeah, but it was designed by F.A. Porsche!

How does someone get paid to design a rectangular box? How long and hard did he have to work to come up with that design? I want THAT job!

TD

tyler_durden
2007-01-05, 23:44
I see all sorts of stuff on different forums running down one brand or another. I think they are all about the same- they have to be or they go out of business in a hurry. Get two of whatever is cheap and use one for backup.

TD

peter
2007-01-06, 01:59
Hercules wrote:
> I've had a Maxtor one (albeit 160GB) for a few years.
>
> Never had any problems with it, and they seem to have a good
> reputation.
>
> (Maxtor have been taken over by Seagate I think)
>

I second that. I've had two Maxtor One Touch external 300 GB drives
connected thru firewire to my Linux box/slimserver. They've been on
permanently and they haven't failed me yet.

Regards,
Peter

stoobie-doo
2007-01-07, 20:15
Get an internal drive you like and spend $30 on a drive enclosure. You'll probably spend less and get a better drive. You will certainly gain more flexibility.

fred7
2007-01-07, 20:35
Get an internal drive you like and spend $30 on a drive enclosure. You'll probably spend less and get a better drive. You will certainly gain more flexibility.


Another nice thing about doing it that way is that you usually get a longer warranty by buying an internal drive and mounting it in a box yourself. I have a Seagate 750GB drive that I put in an external enclosure because the boxed retail (non OEM) version of the drive comes with a 5 year warranty. If you buy the same drive from Seagate as an external you only get a one year warranty. That doesn't make too much sense to me but that's what the warranty says. OEM drives generally only have a one year warranty even if the same drive as retail carries a longer one. I've been very happy with my Seagate drives. I had a bunch of Maxtor 40 and 120 GB externals fail on me but I currently have about 8 of the Maxtor external 300GB drives which have been reliable.

michel
2007-01-08, 01:43
Of the numerous count of HDD's I had, Seagate was the most reliable brand by far.

mflint
2007-01-08, 06:05
It doesn't really matter which you buy. Sure, some brands may be more likely to fail than others, but the relative reliability of brands will change from one month to the next.

There's an old saying: "There are two types of people: those who do regular backups, and those who have never had a hard drive failure". Guess which one I am!? ;-)

All irreplacable data is backed up nightly to 'rsync.net' by cron. (I thoroughly recommend 'rsync.net', by the way!) The hundred-or-so gigs of flacs (when they've all been ripped) will be rsync'd to a spare drive via USB every month or so.

(Of course, Sod's Law says decrees that I haven't had a failure in ten years, since I started preforming backups religiously!)

mherger
2007-01-08, 06:26
> All irreplacable data is backed up nightly to 'rsync.net' by -cron-. (I
> thoroughly recommend 'rsync.net', by the way!)

Wow. That's exactly the type of service I've recently (and unsuccessfully)
been looking for. Thanks for the pointer.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

tyler_durden
2007-01-08, 07:19
$1.80 per GB per month? It would only cost about $450 per month to back up my music library. I could buy two or three HDDs for for the first month's payment and forego all the future monthly payments.

Now I see- for 250 GB it would be 40% off. I'm still out $270 per month. Hmmmmm. No thanks!

TD

Marc Sherman
2007-01-08, 07:27
tyler_durden wrote:
> $1.80 per GB per month? It would only cost about $450 per month to back
> up my music library. I could buy another HDD for for the first month's
> payment and forego all the future monthly payments.

It is expensive, but there's a lot more to offsite backups than just
buying a second hard drive.

- Marc

mherger
2007-01-08, 07:52
> It is expensive, but there's a lot more to offsite backups than just
> buying a second hard drive.

In fact I was considering setting up a box at my hosting services'
facility and share it with my family and friends. Recently I got more and
more requests from them on how to handle backups of their data - some of
it professional, some private (digicam anyone?).

I'll end up with a small box at the office's false bottom - much cheaper
:-)

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

jonheal
2007-01-08, 09:45
Regarding HDs of different ilks.

They're all very reliable.

They all break.

Take your pick.

Keep two sets of everything on different drives. Replace your drives every two or three years. You can't do a whole heck of a lot more than that.

mflint
2007-01-08, 12:41
$1.80 per GB per month? It would only cost about $450 per month to back up my music library. I could buy two or three HDDs for for the first month's payment and forego all the future monthly payments.

Now I see- for 250 GB it would be 40% off. I'm still out $270 per month. Hmmmmm. No thanks!

TD
Whoa, no-one was suggesting you backup all your flacs over t'internet - hence my "backup everything irreplaceable to rsync.net, flacs to an external USB disk". By irreplaceable, I'm thinking of pictures from the digital camera, etc...

Meanwhile, back on topic...! ;-)

peter
2007-01-08, 13:36
mflint wrote:
> tyler_durden;168214 Wrote:
>
>> $1.80 per GB per month? It would only cost about $450 per month to back
>> up my music library. I could buy two or three HDDs for for the first
>> month's payment and forego all the future monthly payments.
>>
>> Now I see- for 250 GB it would be 40% off. I'm still out $270 per
>> month. Hmmmmm. No thanks!
>>
>> TD
>>
> Whoa, no-one was suggesting you backup all your flacs over t'internet -
> hence my "backup everything irreplaceable to rsync.net, flacs to an
> external USB disk". By irreplaceable, I'm thinking of pictures from the
> digital camera, etc...
>
> Meanwhile, back on topic...! ;-)
>

Too much work, too much to remember. Backups should be stupid and
automatic for me...

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-01-08, 13:38
Michael Herger wrote:
>> It is expensive, but there's a lot more to offsite backups than just
>> buying a second hard drive.
>
> In fact I was considering setting up a box at my hosting services'
> facility and share it with my family and friends. Recently I got more
> and more requests from them on how to handle backups of their data -
> some of it professional, some private (digicam anyone?).

I've had a colo server for that purpose for a few months now. It works
well and it works out a lot cheaper than the rsync.net service!

>
> I'll end up with a small box at the office's false bottom - much
> cheaper :-)


Thought of that too, but I don't want to mix office with private.

Regards,
Peter

mherger
2007-01-08, 13:43
> I've had a colo server for that purpose for a few months now. It works

Is this your own machine colocated at some facility? How much does this
cost where you live (where?)? I considered this, but at my hosting
service's facility this costs a whoppy 55-60USD/month - too much for me
and now. But I'll probably team up with some friends.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

mudlark
2007-01-08, 13:45
Hi,
In my opinion it is best to copy all new files to cds. Just search all your music for files newer than your last dump and then drop the files onto discs. Do this with DVDs and the number of discs falls but the risk increases.

Mike.

ModelCitizen
2007-01-08, 14:16
What an awful thread.
Keep some large internal hard disks for your music that copy all changes to an external USB drive on a nightly basis (like a Maxtor OneTouch... but having had one crash I find it difficult to recommend this brand). Use something like RSync, Robocopy or my particular favourite, Mirror Folder (Windows). Then every now and again take your external drive to a nearby musically inclined friend and merge your music.

The benefits are obvious, the legality too (bwgaf).

MC

peter
2007-01-09, 14:52
mudlark wrote:
> In my opinion it is best to copy all new files to cds. Just search all
> your music for files newer than your last dump and then drop the files
> onto discs. Do this with DVDs and the number of discs falls but the
> risk increases.
>

You'll probably change your mind about this when your house burns down
or when your collection is stolen. OK, it's only your music collection,
but I'm more worried about family pix & videos. I don't want to risk
losing those even in a fire.

Regards,
Peter

peter
2007-01-09, 14:57
Michael Herger wrote:
>> I've had a colo server for that purpose for a few months now. It works
>
> Is this your own machine colocated at some facility? How much does
> this cost where you live (where?)? I considered this, but at my
> hosting service's facility this costs a whoppy 55-60USD/month - too
> much for me and now. But I'll probably team up with some friends.

The 1U rackserver belongs to a friend (I added a $99 300GB disk) and I
pay for the colo rent until I match his investment. His server runs as a
vmware host
on mine. The colo rent is 20 EUROs/mo with 50GB traffic. The colo rates
vary a lot in Holland. This one is cheap and close to my office. They
have a convenient access policy. I also use it as an OpenVPN hub that
connects my machines/laptops/webcams/music network wherever I am.

Regards,
Peter

Aragorn
2007-01-10, 09:56
It is not true at all that all the HD are the same in term of reliability.

Also between the same brand there is a lot of variability in the MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) between different models.
MTBF is rating indicating the expected number of power on hours (POH) before failure will occur.

Hard Disk for use on servers have a much higher MTBF, but they are also more expensive.

I cannot say which brand is better, but just for fun I have compared two Samsung HD of the same size, one was 330'000 POH and the other 600'000 POH; that mean that one is much likely to fail than the other.

The bottom line is: if you want reliability just check the MTBF before you buy, you can always found them in the web site of the manufacturers. If you are unlucky of course your "better" hard disk can fail earlier than another which has a worst MTBF, but on average it does matter. For the same reason it does not make much sense to refer to their own experience with a couple of HD

Aragorn

SteveEast
2007-01-10, 10:31
It is not true at all that all the HD are the same in term of reliability.

Also between the same brand there is a lot of variability in the MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) between different models.
MTBF is rating indicating the expected number of power on hours (POH) before failure will occur.

Hard Disk for use on servers have a much higher MTBF, but they are also more expensive.

I cannot say which brand is better, but just for fun I have compared two Samsung HD of the same size, one was 330'000 POH and the other 600'000 POH; that mean that one is much likely to fail than the other.

The bottom line is: if you want reliability just check the MTBF before you buy, you can always found them in the web site of the manufacturers. If you are unlucky of course your "better" hard disk can fail earlier than another which has a worst MTBF, but on average it does matter. For the same reason it does not make much sense to refer to their own experience with a couple of HD

Aragorn

330,000 POH is roughly 37 years. I can cope with that. When you double an extremely small chance of failure, you still get an extremely small chance of failure.

Steve.


Steve.

tyler_durden
2007-01-10, 15:49
330,000 POH is roughly 37 years. I can cope with that. When you double an extremely small chance of failure, you still get an extremely small chance of failure.

Steve.

It's sort of like lottery tickets. Your chances of winning are almost exactly the same whether you buy a ticket or don't...

TD